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Dengue Fever in the United States

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  1. Dengue Fever in the United States Based on the article Lessons Learned during Dengue Outbreaks in the United States, 2001–2011 Dr. AmeshAdalja Amesh A. Adalja, Tara Kirk Sell, NidhiBouri, and Crystal Franco Senior associate, Center for Biosecurity, and clinical assistant professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Emerging Infectious Diseases National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Emerging Infectious Diseases April 2012

  2. What is dengue? • Widespread viral disease carried by mosquitoes worldwide. • Causes a spectrum of illnesses. • Some people do not experience any symptoms. • Typical dengue: fever, rash, body aches lasting about a week. • Dengue hemorrhagic fever (severe): leaking blood vessels, destruction of platelets result in blood clotting abnormalities and cause patient to go into potentially fatal shock because of fluid loss.

  3. History of dengue in the United States • In the last few decades, dengue has not been a problem in the continental United States. • Last significant outbreak before 2001 occurred in 1940s. • Found recently only in: • Florida, Texas-Mexico border, Hawaii • Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands • However, the means to start a US epidemic are in place. • Mosquitoes that can carry the virus reside all over the United States. • If an infected individual arrives from a different place and is bitten by one of these mosquitoes, it can set off a local epidemic.

  4. Outbreaks of dengue in the United Statessince 2000 • Hawaii, 2001 • Centered in rural area. • Spread by a secondary mosquito (not the most common/efficient one). • Major response from health authorities on island. • Had to balance health concerns with interests of tourist bureaus since Hawaii depends highly on revenue from tourism. • 122 cases identified on three islands. • Texas, 2005 • First case: woman contracted dengue hemorrhagic fever in Texas, then traveled to Mexico to be treated. • Outbreak was not unexpected – health authorities and public were highly aware of risk of cross-border dengue.

  5. Outbreaks of dengue in the United States since 2000 (cont.) • Florida, 2009-2010 • Began in Key West. • Key West way of life particularly risky: open air lifestyle, windows left open without screens. • Environment ripe for an outbreak if infected mosquitoes are around. • Outbreak was managed aggressively, health authorities got communities involved in getting rid of areas where mosquitoes were breeding. • More cases have occurred since end of this outbreak. • Likely more undiagnosed cases are occurring.

  6. Why has dengue resurfaced in the United States after 60 years of absence? • Late 1940’s – 2000: no outbreak of dengue in the United States. • Dengue reappeared likely due to return of mosquito vector. • Aggressive yellow fever and malaria mosquito eradication campaigns were discontinued. • Partially due to anxiety over DDT use after publication of Silent Spring. • Victim of its own success – mosquito eradication became less of a priority, vigilance decreased. • Travelers to dengue-endemic regions bring illness back to the United States. People are bitten, disease spreads.

  7. Recommendations for dealing with outbreaks • Promptly involve clinical and laboratory communities to begin testing and tracking potential epidemic. • Provide accurate information to the public. • Engage affected communities in vector control, case identification and reporting.

  8. How to protect yourself from dengue? • Keep windows closed or use intact screens. • In areas with high mosquito densities: • use mosquito repellents. • wear clothing that minimizes skin exposure. • Do not allow standing water to accumulate around your home. • Be aware of warnings issued by state and local health departments.

  9. Thank you to all authors Amesh A. Adalja, Tara Kirk Sell, NidhiBouri, and Crystal Franco For more information please contact Emerging Infectious Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Road NE, Mailstop D61, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA Telephone: 1-404-639-1960/Fax: 1-404-639-1954 E-mail: eideditor@cdc.gov Web: http://www.cdc.gov/eid/ The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases Emerging Infectious Diseases